The Ord Nebraska


"The Better Half" Book Signing at Scratchtown

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Name: "The Better Half" Book Signing at Scratchtown
Date: November 17, 2017
Time: 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM CST
Event Description:

Omaha World-Herald food critic Sarah Baker Hansen grew up in suburban Omaha. Husband Matthew, World-Herald columnist, came from Red Cloud, population 1,000. In their new book, “The Better Half,” they together explore the state from border to border.
The book, available now, is a compliation of two dozen columns and restaurant stories, as well as dozens of other details on things to do, see, eat and drink in Nebraska.
Highlights include the story of the history of Nebraska’s beloved Runza. The story of Two Gun Hart, a larger-than-life northeast Nebraska lawman whose hidden identity included the last name Capone.
A story about an Indian-American couple with the audacity and the requisite amount of screws loose to open an Indian restaurant inside a burnt-out truck stop at the Overton Interstate exit. And the story of the High Plains Homestead, a place without TV, radio or cell phone reception that’s also the closest place the Hansens have found to heaven in Nebraska.
The book includes several Ord-area stories, including an in-depth piece on the resurgence of the town and the birth of Scratchtown Brewery. It also boasts several tips on where to eat, drink and go, including the Sandstone Grill in Burwell and the Elyira Bar.
“This book is a project Matthew and I have wanted to work on for more than a decade,” Baker Hansen said. “We knew Nebraska had great untold stories, and we wanted to tell them. The book is the result of that goal.”
Baker Hansen has been the World-Herald’s food critic for six years. She started the periodic Food Prowl series, wherein she creates teams of tasters and finds favorites in a number of categories. The series has resulted in close to 40 “best of Omaha” winners, including Reuben, fried chicken, ice cream and more. “The Better Half” is her second book. She also wrote "The Insider's Guide to Omaha and Lincoln," part of a series of internationally focused travel books. She won a 2015 Great Plains Journalism Award for best review.
Matthew Hansen is a metro columnist at the Omaha World-Herald, where he writes columns focused on Omaha and Nebraska. In his five years as a columnist he has written about presidents, senators and governors, cops, gangsters and drug snitches, Cuba, Afghanistan, love, death and an 85-year-old man who almost went to federal prison because he refused to refused to stop growing bandit asparagus.
Hansen has worked in newspapers for more than a decade, starting at the Lincoln Journal Star and moving to the World-Herald in 2006. Previously he covered the military, writing extensively about Nebraska veterans living with PTSD. He traveled to Afghanistan to cover the war there. He has also covered higher education, where his stories helped lead to the impeachment of a University of Nebraska regent and the resignation of a UNO chancellor.
During his career, Hansen has won several national journalism awards, including a Society of Professional Journalists Award in 2009,  honors from the National Headliner Contest in 2013 and 2014 and a 2017 Inland Press Journalism Award in profile writing for his story on Richard Hart, which can be found in this book. He was named the 2015 Great Plains Writer of the Year.
“The Better Half” was prepared with support from the Nebraska Community Foundation and published by the Omaha World-Herald.
For more information, visit
To purchase the book, visit “The Better Half” is also available at locally owned bookstores and Barnes and Noble locations across Nebraska.
Scratchtown Brewing Company 
141 South 16th Street, Ord
Date/Time Information:
Friday, November 17 at 6:00 pm
Contact Information:
(308) 728-5050
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